Battle-tested with the toughest non-conference schedule in the Ivy League this year, the Harvard softball team was unable to keep up with No. 3 Oklahoma on its home field, and shutting down the Sooners' offense--the highest scoring in the nation--simply proved too tough of a task for the Crimson.
Oklahoma (59-8) handed Harvard (19-20, 11-1 Ivy) a devastating 11-0 loss in a five-inning game shortened by softball's mercy rule. The double-elimination NCAA Regionals will continue today, as Harvard will take on No. 5 Northwestern (28-25), in an elimination game this afternoon.
"Oklahoma's a great team, and in order for us to beat them, we needed to play a clean game and we didn't do that," Harvard Coach Jenny Allard said. "We made a lot of mental and physical mistakes."
A pair of hit batters made the bottom of the first a nightmarish beginning for the Harvard Crimson.
Suzanne Guy earned the start--her first since the three-hit shutout against Dartmouth that won the Ivy title. But in spite of her stellar Ivy play, she was unable to last the first inning against the Sooners.
"Oklahoma's a great hitting team and I knew that we needed to keep the ball down, and we knew Suzanne had a great drop ball, so we went with her," Allard said.
Guy's first pitch foreshadowed the Crimson's performance for the rest of the game. She hit Oklahoma leadoff hitter Christy Ring on her right side to start the game.
The Crimson made the night even more painful for Ring when she tried to steal second and was then hit on the ankle by the throw of freshman catcher Monica Montijo.
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